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World
03 Dec 2017

Fear among Londoners as 454 acid attacks reported in 2016

In recent years, acid attack assaults have been on the rise in London. 2016 witnessed 454 acid attacks; this is a spike from 166 in 2014 and 261 in 2015.

As hundreds of attacks have occurred in 2017 as well, it has prompted government's intervention; the city's police have asked citizens' help for tackling this menace.

Why have these attacks increased? Read on!

In context

Acid attacks on a rise in London
How have the attacks been carried out?

Incidents

How have the attacks been carried out?

There is no fixed pattern of executing such attacks.

In April, Arthur Collins squirted acid in a crowded nightclub, injuring 22 people.

In another instance, a nurse died after acid was thrown at her as she sat in a park.

In yet another case a delivery-rider was waiting at a traffic light when two attackers sprayed acid on his face and stole his vehicle.

Steps

What steps have been taken to stop this menace?

In October, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced new proposals forcing people possessing acid to explain the purpose.

Moreover, there are plans to ensure that people buying high-concentrate sulphuric acid, like drain cleaners, apply for a Home Office license.

As many perpetrators are in their teens/early 20s, in London's Newham, new legislation asks shopkeepers to refuse sales if customers' intentions appear fishy.

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Londoners feel scared to walk on streets

Londoners

Londoners feel scared to walk on streets

An average Londoner now feel scared. One wonders "Why (do) they use the acid to destroy somebody's face and life?"

Meanwhile, Londoners have taken up the challenge to stop this menace.

Shopkeepers are on board. Parents, teachers and social workers have become alert; they have been requested to ask youngsters about what they're carrying in plastic bottles.

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